Benson at the World of Color Premiere Disney California Adventure
|Born||Jodi Marie Marzorati
October 10, 1961
Rockford, Illinois, United States
|Occupation||Actress, voice actress, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Ray Benson (1984-present)|
|Children||McKinley Benson (b. January 1999)
Delaney Benson (b. June 2001)
|Awards||Disney Legend (2011)|
Jodi Marie Benson (née Marzorati; October 10, 1961) is an American actress, voice actress, and soprano singer. She is best known for providing both the speaking and the singing voices of Disney's Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. In 2002 and 2006, she reprised the role of Ariel in the English versions of the Kingdom Hearts series. Most recently Benson voiced the character Barbie in the 1999 movie Toy Story 2, the 2010 movie Toy Story 3 and the Toy Story Toon Hawaiian Vacation.
Voice and screen acting
Jodi Benson has become well known in popular culture for providing the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She even parodied this later when she provided the voice for the character of Ann Darrow in The Mighty Kong - Ann sang and swam through the water with her hair flowing about her. She provided the voice for a character called Aquagirl in a two-part episode of Batman Beyond. She also provided the voice of the character of Tula in the Hanna-Barbera adventure-fantasy series, Pirates of Dark Water. In an interview with Christians in Cinema, Benson said that winning the role of Ariel was God-ordained. She has also said that her work for Disney is "not just a job, it is a gift that God has given me. It is my ministry." She has also said that she never gets tired of singing her signature song, "Part of Your World".
Benson has also done voice-overs in video games. She played Ariel again in the video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. She was also in Grandia II where she was the American voice actress for Millenia. From its premiere in 2005 to its end in 2008, Benson did voice work for the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network animated series, Camp Lazlo, as the characters Patsy Smiles, Scoutmistress Jane Doe, and Almondine the Owl. She also voiced Professor Owl in an Disney educational short film.
Benson played Cloe in The Save-Ums in 2007 and had a small role as "Sam" in Disney's Enchanted (Benson's only live-action movie role so far) as a tribute to Ariel. She provided the voice of Barbie in Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
In non-Disney films, Benson was a voice actress for Don Bluth's version of Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, voicing the title character. She performed many songs in this film, including a duet with Gary Imhoff in "Let Me Be Your Wings".
On the 1998 VHS edition of The Little Mermaid, Benson appeared as herself during the intro and before and after the previews, telling two CGI goldfish named Gil and Phil about then upcoming releases from Disney such as Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, Mulan, Melody Time and Lady and the Tramp on video, A Bug's Life, Disney Cruise Line and Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC.
In June 2010, Benson re-recorded "Part of Your World" for The Little Mermaid segment for the World of Color night-time show at Disney California Adventure Park park. In an interview at the World of Color premiere, Benson confirmed that she was lending her voice as Ariel for The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction opened 2011 at Disney California Adventure Park and due to open 2012 in Magic Kingdom.
Benson's Broadway credits include a role in the short-lived Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called "Disneyland". Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. Benson also sings "Disneyland" on a compilation CD called Unsung Musicals. In 1989, Benson appeared in another short-lived musical, Welcome to the Club, alongside Samuel E. Wright, who performed the voice for Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid.
In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.
She was at the 2012 SYTA conference singing her signature song Part of Your World on Monday, August 27, 2012.
Benson joined Candlelight at Walt Disney World on December 10–13, 2012.
Jodi is joining "2013 Spring Pops" on May 14, 15 2013 singing along the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Movies, TV and home video/DVD
- 1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (voice) - Lastelle's Mother (2004 Disney Dub)
- 1989 The Little Mermaid (voice) - Princess Ariel, "Vanessa"
- 1990 Disney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1991 Pirates of Dark Water TV Series (voice) - Tula
- 1992 Dance Workout with Barbie Video (voice) - Barbie
- 1992 P. J. Sparkles (voice) - P. J. (1988 Mattel)
- 1992 The Little Mermaid TV Series (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 1993 Disney Sing Along Songs: Friend Like Me (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1994 Disney Sing Along Songs: Circle of Life (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1994 Thumbelina (voice) - Thumbelina
- 1995 Mickey's Fun Songs: Beach Party at Walt Disney World (voice, live action) - Princess Ariel
- 1996 Guideposts Junction, a six-part Christian video series for children - Herself
- 1997 Flubber (voice) - Weebo
- 1997 A Christmas Carol (voice) - Belle
- 1998 Blablaland - Lola Pesto
- 1998 The Mighty Kong (voice) - Ann Darrow
- 1998 Hercules TV Series (voice) - Helen of Troy
- 1999 Toy Story 2 (voice) - Barbie
- 1999 Hercules: Zero to Hero (voice) - Helen of Troy
- 2000 Batman Beyond (voice) - Aquagirl ("The Call" Parts 1 and 2)
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2000 Joseph: King of Dreams (voice) - Asenath
- 2001 House of Mouse TV Series (voice) - Princess Ariel/Belle
- 2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (voice) - Lady (Segment "Pidge")
- 2001 Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2001 Balto II: Wolf Quest (voice) - Jenna
- 2001 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy - The Blue Fairy
- 2002 The Powerpuff Girls Movie (voice) - Linda
- 2002 Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (voice) - Lenee
- 2003 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (voice) - Anita
- 2003 K10C: Kids' Ten Commandments (voice) - Leila and Martha
- 2003 Mickey's PhilharMagic (voice) (uncredited) - Princess Ariel
- 2004 Balto III: Wings of Change (voice) - Jenna
- 2005 Camp Lazlo (voice) - Patsy Smiles, Ms. Jane Doe, Almondine
- 2007 The Save-Ums (voice) - Cloe
- 2007 Enchanted - Sam
- 2008 The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2010 Toy Story 3 (voice) - Barbie
- 2011 The Little Engine That Could (voice) - Jillian
- 2011 Hawaiian Vacation (voice) - Barbie
- 2012 Secret of the Wings (voice) - Healing-Talent Fairy
- 2013 Sofia the First (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 1998 A Bug's Life - Atta
- 2000 Grandia II - Millenia/Reena
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea - Princess Ariel
- 2000 Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge - Nasira
- 2002 Kingdom Hearts - Princess Ariel (English version)
- 2005 Kingdom Hearts II - Princess Ariel (English version)
- 2007 Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey - Princess Ariel
- 2011 Kinect Disneyland Adventures - Princess Ariel
- 2012 Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure - Princess Ariel
- 1990 The Little Mermaid Soundtrack
- 1991 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible I
- 1992 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible II
- 1992 The Little Mermaid: Splash hits
- 1992 Crazy for You Cast Recording
- 1993 The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea
- 1994 Unsung Musicals
- 1994 Thumbelina Soundtrack
- 1995 Songs of Guideposts Junction
- 1996 Hollywood Christmas (Various artists)
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II (soundtrack)
- 2004 Disney Princess: The Ultimate Song Collection
- 2004 Disney Princess Music Hits
- 2005 Disney Princess Christmas Of Enchantment
- 2005 Disney Princess Tea Party
- 2006 Ultimate Disney Princess
- Jodi Benson at the Internet Movie Database
- Jodi Benson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jodi Benson at the Disney Legends Website
- Performance Working in the Theatre seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, April 1992